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Pilates 30 Day Core Challenge

Pilates-Chicago-best-chicago-gym-club

Are you up for a challenge?! Then we want you to try Pilates and strengthen your core in 30 days!

It all starts with a punch card
May 1 – May 31, attend special Pilates classes, in a group or one-on-one. For each session, get punches to your card (One punch for each mini session or group Mat Pilates class. Two punches per paid-for Pilates session). Each card has five possible punches. Fill it up, win a prize. Then get another card. The more you do, the more you win! Prizes include:

  • 2 guest passes
  • Pilates tank top
  • 1 group apparatus class
  • 1 raffle ticket for The Grand Club Prize!

In addition to your club’s regularly scheduled group exercise and paid for group apparatus Pilates classes, each club has added some specialty Core Challenge classes! Below is a list of all three options at each location.

FFC East Lakeview
Tuesday: 7 am*, 12 pm*
Wednesday: 10:30 am
Thursday: 12:15 pm*, 6:15 pm, 7 pm*
Friday: 9 am (pool)
Saturday: 10:45 am

FFC Gold Coast
Monday: 9:30 am($), 12 pm, 7:30 pm($)
Tuesday: 6 am, 7 pm
Wednesday: 9:30 am($), 10 am (pool), 11 am, 6:30 pm($)
Thursday: 6 pm*, 7 pm($)
Friday: 12 pm
Saturday: 8:15 am

FFC Halsted Street
Monday: 6 pm, 7 pm($)
Tuesday: 6 pm* (May 19)
Wednesday: 10:15 am, 6 pm
Thursday: 5:30 pm* (May 28)
Friday: 6:30 pm($)
Saturday: 11 am, 12 pm* (May 30

FFC Lincoln Park
Monday: 8:30 am*, 5:30 pm, 5:45 pm*, 7 pm($)
Tuesday: 7 am*, 10:30 am*, 5:15 pm*, 6 pm($), 7 pm($)
Wednesday: 6:30 am*, 5 pm*, 5:30 pm*, 6:30($)
Thursday: 9:45 am, 10:30 am*, 12:30 pm*, 5:30 pm
Friday: 10:30 am*, 6:30 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am($), 10:30 am*, 11 am($), 11:45 am*
Sunday: 9 am* (May 17), 10:30 am*

FFC Oak Park
Tuesday: 9 am, 6 pm, 6:45 pm*
Wednesday: 12:45 pm*
Thursday: 10:15 am
Friday: 12 pm, 1 pm*
Sunday: 12 pm, 1 pm*

FFC Old Town
Monday: 8:30 am, 6 pm*
Tuesday: 5:45 pm, 7 pm($)
Wednesday: 6 am*, 6:30 am($)
Thursday: 5:45 pm, 6:30 pm($)
Friday: 11 am, 5:30 pm($)
Saturday: 11 am*

FFC South Loop
Monday: 7 am, 9 am($), 5:45 pm, 6 pm* (May 25), 6:30 pm($), 7:30 pm* (May 25)
Tuesday: 12:30 pm* (May 19), 5 pm* (May 26), 5:30 pm* (no May 26), 6:30 pm($)
Wednesday: 12:30* (no May 27), 5:45 pm, 6 pm*, 6:30 pm*
Thursday:  12 pm, 12 pm($) – May 28, 5:30 pm($) – May 21
Friday: 6:30 am*, 5:30 pm*
Saturday: 10 am($), 12 pm, 2:30 pm*, 4 pm*
Sunday: 2:30* (no May 17), 4 pm*

FFC Union Station
Monday: 1 pm*, 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 6:30 am*, 7 am*, 1:30 pm*, 5 pm*, 5:30 pm*
Wednesday: 6:30 am*, 7 am*, 4:30 pm*, 5 pm*
Thursday: 11 am*, 11:30 am, 12 pm*, 12:30 pm*, 1:30 pm*, 4:45 pm, 5:30 pm*, 6 pm*
Friday: 6:30 am*, 7 am*, 12:30 pm*, 5:30 pm*

FFC West Loop
Monday: 1:30 pm*
Tuesday: 1:15 pm*
Thursday: 7 am*
Saturday: 1 pm*

$30 for members
* indicates special Core Challenge class, ($) indicates paid for apparatus class

Please see your club’s Pilates Coordinator, or contact Kristin, Regional Pilates Manager, at kstrom@ffc.com, for more details!

 

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Chicago Sport and Social Club Leagues

Join Chicago Sport and Social Club (CSSC) this spring!

Chicago’s biggest and best Beach Volleyball leagues are taking over the lakefront this summer! Grab some friends or sign up as an individual to be a part of the Chicago summer tradition. Play in CSSC’s 6-week or new 10-week leagues running every night of the week from Oak Street Beach to Montrose Beach. Click here to join the Chitown legacy!

CSSC is the largest organizer of adult sports leagues, social events and tournaments, where 100,000 active, affluent, and connected young professionals play hard and have a lot of fun. Sign up to meet your new best friends!

 

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Bright Pink FitFest

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Bright Pink® is bringing its signature event, FitFest, to FFC Union Station!

Grab your parents, siblings, colleagues and friends to join us Sunday, September 20, as we transform breast and ovarian cancer awareness into life-changing action. Take on the ultimate fitness challenge as one of more than 750 committed individuals to save women’s lives by empowering them to be proactive at a young age!

The day will feature healthy treats and more than 20 high-energy classes, including yoga, cycling, basketball, treadmill workouts and more, led by Chicago’s top instructors. Mix and match the classes you want to take to make the day your own. Take this challenge and together we will create a brighter future.
*FitFest is a fundraise-to-participate event. All funds raised fuel Bright Pink®’s free life-saving breast and ovarian health programs offered nationwide.

Sign up as an individual or to join your club’s team today!

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Native Foods Mother’s Day Giveaway!

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This Mother’s Day, give the gift of healthy nutrition! We’ve paired up with Native Foods to bring you an easy-to-enter, awesome-to-win sweepstakes!

The winner will receive:

The contest closes at 11:59 pm Sunday, May 10. Enter to win here.

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Chicago Marathon Training

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“If you can run a mile, you can run a marathon.” And if you can’t run a mile, we’ll help you get there!

Whether it’ll be your first or fifteenth, if you have a marathon on your mind for 2015, you should join the TriMonster 18-week training program! For $80 per month, you’ll receive training that includes weekday tempo runs and track workouts, weekend long runs, strength training, nutrition and injury prevention clinics, social outings, and unlimited support for the Chicago Marathon and other fall long-distance events.

If you didn’t win the lottery to run the streets of Chicago in October, consider joining one of our charity partners, which automatically guarantees your entry! Team Bright Pink, Team to End AIDS and the American Brain Tumor Association’s Team Breakthrough are all waiting for you to join their teams to run together for many great reasons!

For more information, please visit http://ffc.com/endurance-running/, or email Coaches Chris and Cassidy at endurance@ffc.com.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Looking for a rockin’ summer race?  Our friends at Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago want you to save!  Register with the following codes to run July 18-19FFCHALF ($15 off the half marathon), FFC10K ($10 off the 10K) or FFC5K ($5 off the 5K).  Join the party and sign up today!

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Celebrate with a Spa Package

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Save $15 on our FFC Signature Massage or Vitality Massage Treatment!

Your muscles will reap the benefits of high quality organic oils and aromatherapy, warm packs and energizing techniques in both of these Signature services. In the Vitality Treatment, we add Hot Stones and an exfoliation treatment to leave you feeling just like new!
Valid through 5/31/15.  May not be used with another discount

Celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day with a Special Spa Package*

You’re The Best

  • Two (2) 60 minute massages of your choice for $149

OR

  • Two (2) 90 minute massages of your choice for $199

Mini Vacation

  • One (1) 60 minute massage and one (1) 60 minute facial for $149
    Not available at FFC East Lakeview or FFC Halsted Street

Love Ya   

  • One (1) 30 minute massage and one (1) 30 minute facial for $115
    Not available at FFC East Lakeview or FFC Halsted Street

Baby Moon

  • One (1) 75 minute Mellow Mama Massage and one (1) 60 minute facial for $165
    Offers valid through 6/15/15. No two discounts apply. Services may be completed on different days. Packages expire one year from date of purchase

FFC Member Exclusive: Get a FREE Airbrush Tan with the Purchase of any Package Above!  ($47 Value!)
Airbrush tan must be used by 6/30/15.  Airbrush tan may be used by purchaser or gift recipient.

STAY TUNED!

Join us for a special event: Botox Party With Dr. Julian Dixon of Chicago’s Face Cosmetic Spa!  Thursday June 4, 6-8 pm at the FFC Gold Coast Spa.  For more information, email Regional Director of Spas and Retail, Lisa Ellis, at lellis@ffc.com.

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Get Summer Ready!

Ortanic Banner

Let Ortanic put the finishing touch on any outfit for all of your Spring and Summer events. This monthly only, get five (5) Custom Airbrush Tans for $185 ($50 savings)! Book your appointment today!
Offer expires 5/31/15. May not be used with another discount. Packages expire one year from date of purchase.

Lauren Parente is BACK with Ortanic! She is available Wednesdays at FFC Lincoln Park! Call 312-337-1244 or book with her online.

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FREE Injury Screenings

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Every one of us is an athlete in our own right. We show up, we do the work, we sweat, we get sore. Our bodies deserve to be taken care of for all the pressure we put on them to perform.

Our partners at NovaCare, located right inside most our clubs, are here to help! During an injury screening, you can let them know if you have something major or minor, and they’ll assess you to let you know if there are things you can do on your own to improve, or if it’s serious enough to require further attention.

FFC Union Station:  Wednesday, May 13, 12-2 pm
FFC West Loop: Wednesday, May 20 , 4:30-6 pm
FFC Halsted Street: Thursday, May 21, 5:30-7:30 pm
FFC East Lakeview: Tuesday, May 26, 5:45-7:15 pm

FFC South Loop, FFC Oak Park and FFC Lincoln Park will be open for walk-ins all month long. Don’t be a stranger!

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Anti-Inflammatory Foods

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Acute inflammation is the immune system’s innate, protective response to injury or infection, but when it becomes a chronic issue, inflammation can wreak havoc on the body. In fact, inflammation is linked to seven of the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the United States, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and kidney and respiratory diseases. Over time, it can affect almost all areas of the body:

  • Bones, joints and connective tissue: Arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia
  • Brain: Depression, poor memory, cognitive decline, dementia
  • Eyes: Age-related macular degeneration
  • GI tract: Inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, GERD, gallbladder disease
  • Heart: High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke
  • Kidneys: High blood pressure, edema, kidney failure
  • Liver: Decreased ability to remove toxins
  • Lungs: Asthma, allergies
  • Muscles: Muscle pain, weakness, carpal tunnel
  • Skin: Wrinkles, acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis

While age may be partly to blame, the majority of factors contributing to chronic inflammation relate to our lifestyle choices. Smoking, skimping on sleep, stressing too much, having a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight all play their parts, and a poor diet can add fuel to the fire. Certain foods have been shown to aggravate the inflammatory response, but fortunately for us, there are also many foods that help to fight it. Check out the list below for foods to choose, and foods to avoid, to help keep your body healthy by keeping inflammation at bay.

Pro-inflammatory (avoid):

  • Trans fats – Foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, such as baked goods, fried foods, chips, popcorn, doughnuts and margarine
  • Sugar – Your favorite sweet treats and sodas are obvious culprits, but watch out for the sugar hiding in your yogurt, granola bars, cereal, juice, dried fruit, condiments, salad dressing, tomato sauces, soups and “low-fat” foods
  • Refined carbohydrates – White flour (bread, pasta, crackers), white rice and instant potatoes
  • Alcohol – Beer, wine and liquor are all irritants
  • Omega-6 fatty acids – Refined vegetables oils (e.g., safflower, soybean, sunflower, corn), margarine and grain-fed meat
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate) – A flavor enhancer predominantly found in prepared Asian cuisine, but may also be added to salad dressings, deli meat, prepared soups and fast food
  • Gluten – The protein found in wheat, rye and barley
  • Artificial sweeteners

Anti-inflammatory (go for it!):

  • Fatty fish – Salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and mackerel are all high in inflammation-fighting omega-3s
  • Leafy greens – Thanks to their high levels of the antioxidant vitamin E, dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens and chard are great for combating inflammation
  • Nuts – Almonds, walnuts and pistachios provide beneficial fiber, vitamin E and omega-3s
  • Soy – Edamame (soybeans), tofu, tempeh, and soy milk contain isoflavones that have been shown to reduce inflammation
  • Fermented foods/drinks – Plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha are all rich in probiotics, which are great for reducing gut inflammation
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables – Beets, tomatoes, peppers, berries, grapefruit, tart cherries, pomegranates, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and many others are rich in beneficial antioxidants
  • Herbs and spices – Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are natural anti-inflammatory agents that also add flavor without adding sodium
  • Onions and garlic – Many studies show that the main phytonutrient in these foods, allicin, works similarly to NSAIDs to reduce inflammation
  • Olive oil – Healthy plant-based fats make this oil one of the best you can use!

Blog post courtesy of Carrie Linke, MS, RD, LDN. We will miss Carrie deeply and wish her well on her new adventure back home to North Carolina!

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May SCUBA Certification

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Have you ever dreamed of swimming alongside the beautiful, exotic aquatic life in the crystal blue waters of the continental coasts (or anywhere, for that matter)? Dive into your deepest adventurous desires and get SCUBA certified!

Guaranteed to provide the utmost safety and success of your dive training experience, Fitness Formula Clubs and Captain Darrick Lorenzen’s Divemax Scuba Schools, rated Number One SCUBA training agency in the Midwest, organize and guide fundamental dive training during various sessions throughout the year.

All individuals considering enrollment must attend a complimentary orientation*, then complete your basic skills course**.

*Orientation from 6-7:30 pm

  • Tuesday, May 5 at FFC Halsted Street
  • Wednesday, May 6 at FFC Union Station
  • Thursday, May 7 at FFC Lincoln Park

**Basic Skills Course

  • FFC Union Station: Saturday, May 9.
    • Class in Spin Studio: 7:30 am – 12 pm
    • Pool time: 1-4 pm
  • FFC Union Station: Saturday, March 21, 7:30 am – 4 pm

For more information, or to confirm your attendance at the free orientation, please contact Captain Darrick at 773-732-8972 or captdarrick@divemaxscuba.com. Special scheduling can be accommodated. Additional fees apply for open water dives and equipment. Non-members welcome!

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Fit Fido Cancelled

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Due to the outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) throughout Chicago, May’s K9 University Fit Fido event has been cancelled.

CIV is highly contagious. If you have questions about your dog’s health, or suspect (s)he might be sick, please contact your vet immediately.

Stay tuned to your club’s Facebook page for details on the makeup date.

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Welcome Christopher!

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FFC East Lakeview and FFC Halsted Street would like to welcome our newest massage therapist, Christopher Pierce! He is a 2010 graduate of Cortiva Institute, specializing in a myofascial approach to massage, using slow, deep pressure to warm up the body, along with trigger point therapy and neuromuscular techniques to facilitate healing in problem areas.

Stop into your club’s spa to say “Hi!” You can book your appointment with Christopher at FFC East Lakeview  here, or at FFC Halsted Street here.

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Pool and Whirlpool Repair Update

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We regret to inform you that we have experienced a delay in the re-opening of the pool. We expect to re-open the pool on Wednesday, May 1.
The full repairs of the whirlpool will take an additional two weeks to complete, so we plan to re-open the whirlpool by mid-May if everything goes as planned.
We appreciate your loyalty and patience through this process. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding this matter, please feel free to contact your General Manager, Jason, at jhammers@ffc.com.
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Read Our Blog!

chicago-best-fitness-blog

We are so excited to officially launch our FFC blog! In it we cover everything from fitness and nutrition to wellness, community and recreation, with individual club neighborhood features sprinkled throughout.

Check out our fitness staff’s favorite 30-minute workouts and try our registered dietitians’ own recipes. Get the skinny on the best healthy restaurants and fun events in your neighborhood. Find answers to your well-being questions, like why you aren’t seeing the results you expected from your exercise routine or how exercise can really benefit your health.

If you see a topic you particularly love, let us know! If you see something missing that you’d like to know more about, let us know! The posts are primarily written by members of the FFC staff, but we welcome member input, as well!

While we can’t accept all submissions, we welcome your ideas. If you have feedback or want to contribute, please contact Allie, Social Media and Communications Coordinator, at akuopus@ffc.com.

 

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New Spring Group Fitness Schedule

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The new Spring schedules begin Monday, April 6! Spring is a time of renewal, so get ready to “Spring” into a whole new you! We have some new classes on the docket to help you inject a little spunk into your routine.

Hang 10 – Our newest seasonal signature class incorporates bodyweight exercises with glide discs as your primary piece of equipment for a fun, challenging cardiovascular and strength workout.
PiYo – This fun and challenging full-body workout fuses the muscle-sculpting, core-firming benefits of Pilates with the strength and flexibility advantages of yoga.
Trippin – Get back to basics and brush up on your jump rope skills with intervals of bodyweight, core and muscle conditioning exercises integrated with 1–2 minutes on the rope.

Visit http://ffc.com/group-fitness/ for an updated list of classes. You can search by club, instructor and class format.

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Team to End AIDS

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Did you miss your chance to run in the 2015 Chicago Marathon? Lucky for you, FFC is the exclusive marathon, half marathon and triathlon training partner for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s TEAM TO END AIDS (T2). Join T2 and receive automatic entry into the race! Get $24 off registration to all T2 endurance training programs by using discount code T2FFC when registering online!

Cross the finish line to help AIDS Foundation of Chicago provide housing, care and advocacy for the 43,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Illinois. T2’s innovative coaching program will support you every step, pedal or stroke of the way as you train to finish the race of your lifetime – and raise funds to make a difference in Chicago and across the nation.

Your victory is their victory. Join the T2 family today.

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Bring Your Friends to Fitness

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Bring your friends to fitness! We know how you feel about your favorite group exercise classes, and we want you to share the love with your loved ones. Check out your club’s group fitness schedule, find a class with the BFF symbol, reserve your spot and introduce your friends* to FFC’s best!
*You may invite as many guests as you like, however, each guest will be limited to attend one free class per quarter

 

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Dash for Detection 5k Run/Walk

Support the Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation Sunday, May 31 to increase funding for early detection of pancreatic cancer. Bring your family and friends to remember loved ones and to celebrate how far we’ve come in the fight against pancreatic cancer!

Prizes will be awarded to teams with the most members or who raise the most money. Your participation provides hope for the future. Register here.

  • $40 for adults
  • $20 for kids 14 and under
  • Day-of registration is an additional $5
  • This year there is also a Kids’ Dash! 9 am registration the morning of!

The time has changed! It now starts at 8 am!

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Train and Race with the Endurance Club

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TRAIN WITH FFC!
Whether you’re completing your first race or shooting for a personal record, you can learn from some of Chicago’s best endurance coaches with the FFC Endurance Club!  The FFC Triathlon club and FFC Running Club can help prepare you for the Chicago Marathon, Chicago Half Marathon, Leon’s Triathlon, Chicago Triathlon and many more!

RACE WITH FFC!
FFC Members can save on race registration fees with the following discount codes! Be sure to join the FFC Endurance Club for training and to save on dozens of other local triathlon and running events!

    • Leon’s Triathlon – use code FCCMEMBER15 by April 5!
    • Chicago Triathlon – use code TEAM15TMON by July 31!
    • Chicago Half Marathon – use code TRICHM15

Contact coaches Chris and Cassisdy at endurance@ffc.com with questions or to sign up.

 

 

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FREE injury Screenings

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There’s really no reason not to visit a certified physical therapist, especially when it’s complimentary. You work your body hard, you owe yourself a check-in to make sure you’re staying in tip top condition. Non-members welcome, call ahead to reserve a spot.

Oak Park – Monday, April 6. 4-6 pm
Halsted Street – Thursday, April 9. 5:30-7:30 pm
Union Station – Wednesday, April 22. 11 am -1 pm
Lincoln Park – Thursday, April 23. 5-7 pm
East Lakeview – Tuesday, April 28. 5:45-7:15 pm
South Loop – Wednesday, April 29. 4-7 pm
West Loop – Wednesday, April 29. 4:30-6 pm

 

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Spring Training at the Spa

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Get your body ready for both workout training and recovery in the same session!
Special this month:  A package of three 60-Minute Deep Tissue or Sports Massages is only $234 (save $12 each on single session price)! And get a FREE FFC T-Shirt with purchase*!
*While supplies last. All sizes not available at all locations

Put Your Best Face Forward
Regular facials help to keep your skin from looking dry and tired, and prematurely aged.  We’ll help your skin recover from the winter elements and prepare you for the summer sun!
Special this month: Three 60-Minute Facial Series for $229, PLUS 15% off a product purchase*!
*Discount on product available with receipt of facial series. Valid one time only

Book your appointment at the Spa today! Offers expire 4/30/15. May not be combined with other offers

Ortanic Banner

Proms, Weddings and Parties, Oh My!

Ortanic Banner

Don’t worry, rain showers don’t have to keep you from looking great in your Spring outfit!

Get an Ortanic tan in April for just $35.  Upgrade to a deluxe tan for just $5 more. Book your appointment today!
Offers expire 4/30/15. May not be combined with other offers

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Controlling Cravings

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What I adore about being a registered dietitian is the fact that nutrition science evolves daily. I constantly learn about my passion and get to share the fascinating research in a fun way.

A common goal for many of my clients is finding ways to control a craving. Can you relate? If so, put yourself in this scenario:

You crave a little something extra after dinner, per usual, and satisfy the uber healthy way.

High five for super-food swapping! However that “snack” just added up to as many calories as a fourth meal, deterring your weight loss goals. I stumbled upon a super-intriguing research article that suggests bad belly bacteria may be to blame for your food cravings!

Here’s the deal: Bad gut bacteria affects our mood and impacts our hormones, therefore we can’t justify the fact that cravings are only a matter of self-control. Instead, cravings may be a result from the army of bad bugs in our gut!

Here’s the fix: Become a fermented foodie. Boost your beneficial bacteria army so you can overcome the “bad guys” and conquer cravings for good. Add a daily dose of probiotic powerhouses with the inspiration below:

  • Make coconut yogurt (fermented coconut milk) the base of a breakfast parfait. Layer with oats, berries & nuts.
  • Top cooked grains with a dollop of Kimchi (fermented cabbage) & a fried egg.
  • Celebrate happy hour kombucha (fermented tea) style.
  • To spruce up salads, add a miso (fermented soybeans) tahini dressing. Simply mix miso paste with tahini and warm water.

Blog courtesy of Fitness Formula Clubs Registered Dietitian Jessica Dogert RD, LDN, CPT. Contact Jessica at jdogert@ffc.com.

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Fit Fido

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Join us and our friends from K9 University for our third Fit Fido event Sunday, May 17 from 12-2 pm! Now that the weather is cooperating a little more, there is the option for outdoor playtime, in addition to canine massage, treats for both humans and dogs, and more! Stay tuned to your club’s Facebook page for more details!

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Uncovering the Secret Foundation to Exercise

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Missing something from your workout? Join us for a 4-part lecture series where we will discuss posture, core strength, breath and flexibility. Learn how lack of understanding or use of these crucial fundamentals could be holding you back from achieving optimal performance, not only in athletics, but also in your daily life.

  • Saturday, April 4: Posture and Core Strength
  • Sunday, April 12: Breath
  • Saturday, April 18: Flexibility
  • Sunday, April 26: Achieving Optimal Performance

All lectures will take place at 2 pm in Group Exercise Studio 1. Registration is not required, but encouraged for FFC Members. Non-members are welcome, but guests must pre-register prior to the lecture. All classes will fill on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information or to register, please contact the Pilates Coordinator, Rachel Sutter, at rsutter@ffc.com.

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Welcome New Trainer, Alena!

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We’re excited to welcome Alena Scarver to the FFC East Lakeview family! Alena specializes in body weight and functional movement, self defense, weight loss, and toning and kettlebell conditioning. If you have any questions about your current program or fitness in general or if you just want to say hello, she will be here in the club to offer her assistance!

Join her for Kettlebells 101 to learn the basics of using this unique piece of equipment to up the ante in your workouts, Mondays at 7 pm and Sundays at 9 am. Email her to set up your free 30-minute consultation, and to learn more about her new class, at ascarver@ffc.com.

 

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New Power Rack

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FFC East Lakeview has recently added a Hammer Strength HD Elite Power Rack that will allow you to perform upper body, lower body and band exercises, and features additional accessories to add variety to your training. For more information on how to incorporate this into your workout, ask one of our staff of expert personal trainers or email John Beale, Fitness Director, to set up an appointment at jbeale@ffc.com.

 

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Women’s Boot Camp

Bootcamp-best-chicago-crossfit-gym-clubLadies, even though it doesn’t seem like it will ever get here, summer is on its way! Get in your best shape yet with a boot camp designed especially for you! Choose a four-week camp once or twice a week. $120 once per week, $215 twice per week.

  • Wednesdays, 7-8 pm
  • Sundays, 11 am – 12 pm

Contact Caitlin with questions or to register at cakey@ffc.com.

 

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Happy Easter

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In observance of the upcoming holiday weekend, the Clubs will operate as follows:

East Lakeview, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Oak Park
Friday, April 3 – Saturday, April 4: Regular Club Hours
Sunday, April 5: 7 am – 3 pm

Halsted Street, Old Town, South Loop, Union Station, West Loop
Friday, April 3 – Saturday, April 4: Regular Club Hours
Sunday, April 5: 8 am – 3 pm

Thank you and happy Easter!

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Spring Running Club

Spring-Training-Best-chicago-gym-running-marathon-training-clubJoin the FFC Running Club to prepare for the Shamrock Shuffle, Soldier Field 10 Miler, and Chicago Spring Half Marathon! This 9-week training program runs March 23 – May 23 for $80 per month. As a member of the club, you can look forward to:

  • Entry into RunMonster 1-Mile and Indoor 5k races!
  • Long runs 8 am Sundays at FFC South Loop
  • Track runs 6 pm Thursdays at FFC Gold Coast
  • High Intensity Interval Training at FFC Lincoln Park’s Performance Training Center
  • Pre- and post-race team gatherings
  • Team social events and fun runs

Contact Coaches Chris and Cassidy at endurance@ffc.com with questions and to sign up.

 

National-Nutrition-Month-best-chicago-gym-club-weight-loss

March is National Nutrition Month

National-Nutrition-Month-best-chicago-gym-club-weight-lossWhile fueling your body with peak nutrition should be a year-round event, this month it’s even more important. Why? March is National Nutrition Month! Use this month to set healthy habits that you can continue year round. Avoid ups and downs with “fad diets” and simply provide your body with the nutrients it wants. Follow the guidelines in our January article and check on what you still need to adhere to. Also, add in these healthy habits to improve your nutrition and health from head to toe:

Fuel Your Mind: A diet that encourages blood flow to the brain will increase brain function and memory. The brain is made up of many lipids, including the omega 3 fatty acids – and consuming these will make sure our mind stays at peak performance.

How to add it to your day: Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, and walnuts are two foods that contain high amounts of omega 3’s. Enjoy a spinach salad with grilled salmon and chopped walnuts for great brain benefits.

Make Your Skin Glow: Eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables will provide you with antioxidants to improve your skin. Lycopene, the pigment that gives tomatoes their red color, especially improved skin cellular function and defends our skin against aging and UV damage.

How to add it to your day: Snack on grape tomatoes with hummus, or saute them as a side dish to receive the benefits of lycopene. Don’t like the taste of tomatoes? Hide chopped Roma tomatoes in your fruit smoothie!

Strong Bones, Strong Body: Avoid broken bones, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis by taking care of yourself and consuming 3 servings per day of dairy. If you are unable to consume dairy, try adding these other foods that are high in calcium and iron: canned fish with soft bones such as anchovies, salmon, and sardines, and green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, mustard greens and bok choy.

How to add it to your day: Plain Greek yogurt makes for a great high protein snack. Dairy-free choice: kale and spinach both taste delicious sauteed with garlic and lemon juice.

Help Your Nails and Hair Grow: Biotin is a B vitamin found in mushrooms, fatty fish, avocado, eggs, sunflower seeds, and many other foods. Along with protein, when we don’t get enough biotin in our diet, it can leave our hair and nails in poor condition.

How to add it to your day: Try this healthy, filling, and strengthening breakfast! Whole grain toast, avocado slices, and smoked salmon.

Blog courtesy of Amy Silver, RD. Get in touch with Amy at asilver@ffc.com.

Looking to further your nutrition benefits to other parts of your body during National Nutrition Month? Ask your Registered Dietitian for more ideas specific to your needs!

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FREE Injury Screenings

8-novacare-best-chicago-gym-physical-therapyWhether you have a persistent joint pain or an aching muscle that won’t go away, there’s never a wrong time to see a physical therapist. NovaCare is located inside seven of our club locations, and are always happy to take a look. Here is March’s schedule of in-club visits. They’re coming to you!

FFC Lincoln Park:  Tuesday, March 3, 5-7pm
FFC South Loop: Saturday, March 7, 10 am – 12 pm
FFC Oak Park: Monday, March 9, 4-6pm
FFC Halsted Street:Tuesday, March 17, 5:30-7:30pm
FFC Union Station: Wednesday, March 25,12-2pm
FFC West Loop: Wednesday, March 25  4-6pm
FFC East Lakeview: Tuesday, March 31, 5-7pm

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Coming Soon!

Pilates-studio-best-chicagoDo you feel like something’s missing from your workout routine? Join us to uncover the key ingredients of a solid fitness foundation!

In this 4-part lecture series*, we will discuss posture, core strength, breathing and flexibility. Learn how a lack of practice and understanding of these crucial fundamentals could be holding you back from achieving optimal performance, not only in athletics, but also in your daily life.

*All lectures will take place at 2 pm in Group Exercise Studio 1

Saturday, April 4: Posture and Core Strength
Sunday, April 12: Breathing
Saturday, April 18: Flexibility
Sunday, April 26: Achieving Optimal Performance

Registration is not required, but encouraged for FFC Members. Non-members are welcome, but guests must pre-register prior to the lecture. All classes will fill on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information or to register, please contact the Pilates Coordinator, Rachel Sutter, at rsutter@ffc.com.

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Whirlpool Construction

Construction-best-chicago-gym-clubThe whirlpool is closed due to major structural issues. Because of the scope of this issue, we have hired an architectural firm to completely redesign the whirlpool. We have submitted these plans to the Illinois Department of Public Health and are awaiting a permit before we can begin the work. Because this approval is done by the State of Illinois, the timeline of completing this project is out of our hands. However, as soon as the permit is obtained, work will begin to not only make it operational again, but also to make several improvements to the whirlpool. Thank you for your patience while we work to fix this issue!

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March SCUBA Certification

9-best-gym-Scuba-certificationHave you ever dreamed of swimming alongside the beautiful, exotic aquatic life in the crystal blue waters of the continental coasts (or anywhere, for that matter)? Dive into your deepest adventurous desires and get SCUBA certified!

Guaranteed to provide the utmost safety and success of your dive training experience, Fitness Formula Clubs and Captain Darrick Lorenzen’s Divemax Scuba Schools, rated Number One SCUBA training agency in the Midwest, organize and guide fundamental dive training during various sessions throughout the year.

All individuals considering enrollment must attend a complimentary orientation*, then complete your basic skills course**.

*Orientation from 6-7:30 pm

  • Tuesday, March 10 at FFC Oak Park
  • Monday, March 16 at FFC Halsted Street
  • Wednesday, March 18 at FFC Union Station
  • Thursday, March 19 at FFC Lincoln Park

**Basic Skills Course

  • FFC Oak Park: Sunday, March 15, 8 am – 5 pm
  • FFC Union Station: Saturday, March 21, 7:30 am – 4 pm

For more information, or to confirm your attendance at the free orientation, please contact Captain Darrick at 773-732-8972 or captdarrick@divemaxscuba.com. Special scheduling can be accommodated. Additional fees apply for open water dives and equipment. Non-members welcome!

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Join Team Bright Pink

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Looking for a reason to run in 2015? Join Team Bright Pink for this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon and we’ll help you reach your goal while fundraising to fuel Bright Pink’s life-saving breast and ovarian health programs.

The professional marathon training coaches at FFC will lead you through a FREE, 18-week training program complete with seminars on stretching, injury prevention and nutrition, to name a few. Join us for fun runs and social hours, connect with other runners on our Team Bright Pink Facebook page and celebrate your incredible accomplishment with our pre-race Pasta Party and post-race Celebration Party for friends and family. The more the merrier!

Just think how great it will feel to cross that finish line knowing you not only accomplished a personal goal, but also helped to empower a generation of women to be their own best health advocates!

Don’t be the one to miss out! Spaces are limited. For further information, contact Wendy at wendy@brightpink.org.

 

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Keep Your Heart Healthy This Valentine’s

Heart-health-month-best-chicago-gym-club-studioThis Valentine’s Day, as we celebrate American Heart Month, we want you to think beyond the heart-shaped boxes filled with delectable chocolatey candy treats, over-sized stuffed creatures, and whether or not you have a date (Chicago does seem to have some great singles events on the calendar)…

According to the National Health Institute, coronary heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the U.S. But that’s not meant to bring you down! We want you to be your healthiest and happiest, not just for Cupid’s Day, but every day, so we’ve compiled some tips. Please take them to heart…

Try these tips from the American Heart Association to stay heart healthy by managing stress:

    • Get physical – That’s right. The leading authority on heart health says to get to the gym. Better do it! We know of a good one if you need some ideas…
    • Let go of bad habits – From smoking to over worrying, there’s no time like the present to start fresh.
    • Slow down – Life ain’t a track meet. It’s a marathon. Pace, don’t race.
    • Laugh – Check out Second City. Watch a funny movie. Push someone down (just kidding… but I’ll bet that made you laugh).
    • Sleep – No brainer. Make the time.
    • Get organized – Declutter your mind by cleaning out your inbox, your closet, your fridge. Whatever keeps you up at night.
    • Relax – Deep breaths, my friend. Let go of what you can’t change. It will all be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.
    • Find pleasure in your everyday life – The sun. White snow. Your family. That donut… Just kidding again!

 

 

Get fit. Union Station Fitness Director, Josh, knows how important this tip is. The heart is a muscle, so it needs to be worked like the rest of them! Cardio, strength training and stretching all improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and stress, and revving up feel-good hormones, helping keep your mood light and your mind clear:

  • Cardio – Walk on the treadmill at an incline if you’re new to exercising, or take it a step further by joining a running club or Spin class
  • Strength – Basic sit-ups, push-ups and body-weight squats are good for beginners, but you can kick it up a notch with a HIIT class or boot camp
  • Stretch: If you’re not Gumby, get in the habit of stretching in the morning or before bed. When you’re comfortable, take up a yoga or Pilates class (which have benefits all their own!)

Yoga and Pilates are good for your body, mind and spirit by helping you gain balance and focus.

    • You’ll live longer – Standing on your head reverses blood flow to the brain, giving you a boost while restoring energy to keep you young!
    • Your risk for diseases (like heart!) decrease – Meditating, focusing on your breath, staying in the moment, all help to relieve stress. Let it all go!
    • Bye bye back pain – Stretching and strengthening your back muscles help to keep you upright with no tweaks. (Listen to your body in class, and don’t overdo if you’re not comfortable)
    • Be happy – Practicing yoga releases serotonin, the “happy” hormone, which also regulates appetite, mood and sleep.
    • Let if flow – Circulation and respiration both improve as you learn to lower your respiratory rate. Better oxygen and blood flow means happy, healthy organs.
    • Yeah baby! – Women who stay fit throughout pregnancy tend to have leaner, healthier, calmer babies.

 

 

You might plan to spend the day with your two greatest loves: and one of them will be food. Registered dietitian, Jessica, suggests sticking to the following to keep your ticker in tip-top shape!

  • Salmon – Salmon contains EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Eat two servings a week to reap the benefits of lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
  • Nuts – In addition to protein, the unsaturated fats found in tree nuts lower the bad cholesterol while boosting the good. An ounce of nuts a day helps relax blood vessels and ease blood flow.
  • Apples – An apple a day keeps the doctor, and heart disease, away! The soluble fiber lowers bad cholesterol.
  • Beans – Besides protein, beans pack a punch in folate, which reduces risk of heart disease.
  • Dark chocolate – Yay chocolate! The flavonoids found in cacao contain magnesium, which is essential for normal heart function.
  • Superstitious? Kick your Valentine’s night into high gear with Maca root, honey, avocado, curry, ginger and parsley! Ask Jessica why at jdogert@ffc.com.

Just because you can have chocolate doesn’t mean you should go overboard… Remember, everything in moderation! Check out Registered Dietitian, Carla’s, nutrition blog for more heart-healthy tips!
Blog courtesy of Allie Kuopus, Social Media and Communications Manager. Contact Allie at akuopus@ffc.com.

Nutrition-Healthy-heart-best-chicago-gym-club-weight-loss

5 Tips for a Heart Healthy Valentine’s

Nutrition-Healthy-heart-best-chicago-gym-club-weight-lossNot only is February the month of love, but it is also American Heart Month. With Valentine’s Day being the candy layover between the winter holidays and Easter, the desire to sugar binge and candy horde is only natural, which makes reconciling Valentine’s Day and healthy Heart Month a difficult task indeed.

1. Whole-grain breakfast: Try cutting out a heart-shaped whole-grain piece of toast or waffle, then top with vanilla Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries and cinnamon.
Heart healthy tip: The fiber in whole grains helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk for heart disease.

2. Get physical: Couples and families that play together, stay (healthy) together!  Get out and find fun physical activities to share with your loved one(s) such as building a snowman, going skiing or ice skating, and working out.
Heart healthy tip: The American Heart Association recommends that you strive to get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day as part of a heart healthy lifestyle.

3. Be Nutty: What better way is there to let someone know that you’re crazy about them than attaching an “I’m nuts for you!” note on a snack bag of mixed nuts? It’s a great way to say something sweet and give your Valentine a healthy treat.
Heart healthy tip: Not only are nuts packed with protein, they are also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids may help to decrease the risk of arrhythmias, lower triglyceride levels and slow the growth of atherosclerotic plaques.

4. Sweets for your sweetie: When choosing sweets, opt for a piece of minimally processed dark chocolate.
Heart healthy tip: Cocoa contains compounds called flavonoids that have antioxidant properties. Research has shown that flavonoids may have a beneficial impact on vascular health by improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure.
Heart healthy tip follow-up: While the flavonoids in cocoa may be beneficial for heart health, excessive fat and sugar consumption can lead to weight gain, which is certainly not heart healthy! To strike a healthy balance, limit chocolate intake to moderate portions (about 1 oz.) several times a week.

5. Fantastically Fruity Snacks: Let your Valentine know that “I’m bananas for you” or that they are “the apple of your eye” because you guys “make such a great pear.” Sounds “plum perfect” to me!
Heart healthy tip: Fruits are jam-packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which studies have shown can work to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure as well as reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries.

Blog courtesy of Carla Schmitz, MS, RDN, LDN. Contact Carla at cschmitz@ffc.com.